It may come as a surprise to some to learn that the Gods of the Old World Pantheon are related, well, most of them. For example, did you know that Ulric, God of Winter and Wolves is the younger brother to Taal, the God of the Wilds? And that Taal is married to Rhya, Goddess of Agriculture, Birth and Fertility?
If that did not come as a surprise, then perhaps the knowledge (although disputed) that Morr has a black sheep in his family might surprise you… Khaine, the God of Murder and Cruelty, is Morr’s younger brother. I bet he’s a hoot at parties! It’s a bit of an odd coincidence isn’t it, that the God of Death, Dreams and Prophecy, is related to the God of Murder. When Morr was setting up shop, did he ask his brother to go out and fetch him a few souls for his lovely garden to kickstart the business?
All joking aside… Yes, the gods, although not all of them, the main ones that sit on the Old World Pantheon, with exception to the likes of Sigmar and Ranald, are related by blood.
So here’s a neat diagram showing the relationships between the gods:
First up, is the Northern Gods, also known as the Elder Gods, for their age is far greater. Worship of the Elder Gods is most predominant in the northern lands of the Old World, such as the Empire of Man and Kislev, although Kislev has its own pantheon, many Kislevians acknowledge Ulric, giving him the proper respect that is due for the God of Winter. Taal and Rhya are worshiped together as deities in Talabecland, while Ulric enjoys his strongest base of worshipers in the far north, Middenland. Manaan’s main seat of power is the great harbor city, Marienburg.
Next up, is the Southern Gods, also known as the Classical Gods. They are the youngest of the pantheons. The southern lands such as Tilea, Estalia, Bretonnia and Araby, all primarily worship the Classical Gods. Verena’s main seat of worship is in Tilea, while Myrmidia’s strongest base of power is in Estalia. Morr’s seat of power is in Tilea, Luccini, where his daughter Verena’s main cult is located. Shallya’s main seat of power is in Bretonnia, Couronne. Bretonnians play host to the Shallyan order without the need to worship her, as they worship the Lady and only the Lady, and no other, but they acknowledge and give kindness for the noble aspects of Shallya and her aid, whenever it is required.
Out of the classical pantheon; Shallya, Verena and Morr enjoy a heavy presence in the Empire, with Verena foremost taking up residence in the major cities of men, where learning and education tends to prosper. Nearly every cemetery in the Empire now has a priest of Morr tending to it, and Morr’s presence is perhaps felt the strongest. Shallyan temples, while mostly found in the larger settlements, enjoys liberties that are not afforded to them in Bretonnia, such as the need to wear yellow instead of white, as Bretonnians have banned their order from wearing whites. Myrmidia has very little influence in the Empire, and you would be hard pressed to find a temple dedicated to her. Her strongest base of worship remains in the far south.
And then there’s… Khaine. God of Murder, Cruelty, Violence and Blood. His relationship with Morr as Morr’s youngest brother is not hotly debated simply because it’s never talked about; even learned priests of Morr will be unaware of such a link.
Those who profess that Khaine is indeed the brother to Morr are theologians who walk a fine path close to heresy. There is very little evidence to suggest any kind of link; instead, keen students of theology will point to age old myths that seem to imply a divine battle between Morr and Khaine, with Khaine attempting to steal the Mantle of Death from Morr; a brotherly quarrel, they call it.
Some may point out that its more likely that Khaine is related to Khorne, God of Battle, for they share many aspects. Some even claim that Khaine and Khorne are one and the same, and that the link to Morr becomes even more insidious, so they claim.
Perhaps the wildest and strangest heretical theory concerns Morrslieb, the eery green moon, often associated with chaos, doom and dark omens. Morrslieb means ‘Beloved of Morr’ and there are many, many myths surrounding the origin of Morrslieb. To go into all of these would require a lore post all about Morrslieb (and Mannslieb, the other moon) but most of the myths seem to tie some kind of connection to Morr. Others believe the connection is benign; Morr, being the God of Death, and the green moons presence in the night sky often foretelling doom, is how the moon got its name, and there’s nothing more to it.
But regarding that wild heretical theory I mentioned about; some worshipers of Khaine, and perhaps even fanatical followers of Morr, suggest that the Chaos moon represents Morr’s corrupted heart. That Morr fell to the dark influence of his brother, Khaine, and is now a servant of Chaos, whose very heart stalks the night sky. This however, is just one myth amongst many, for the origin of Khaine is mysterious, as is Morrslieb.
Khaine is worshiped quite heavily by the Dark Elves, but also enjoys worship with those in the Empire and elsewhere who scheme in the shadows.
Whatever the truth of the matter is, the origin of Khaine is mysterious.